Our next adventure in NSW began, we were off to Brisbane Water National Park and to spend some time with family in the Central Coast.
It was an early start for us after travelling back from Newcastle to Sydney yesterday. We were picked up at 9am by Hayley’s Uncle John and cousin Dan for the 90-minute journey to their home in the Central Coast.
The journey was scenic and enjoyable as we chatted with John and Dan along the way.
Staples Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park
Our first stop in the central coast was Staples Lookout in Brisbane Water National Park. This was such a scenic introduction to the Central Coast for us.
The view was incredible. We could see across most of the park and Woy Woy Bay in the distance. In the other direction, we could see the national park’s highest point – Mount Wondabyne.
After dropping our bags at Dan’s house, we popped over to John’s house to pick up Hayley’s Auntie Viv and to head out for a spot of lunch.
Margarita Daze, Umina Beach
For lunch, our family took us to Margarita Daze which overlooks the beautiful Ocean Beach.
This was such an amazing spot with an interesting menu. I opted for barbecued prawns which I had been waiting patiently to try while in Australia. They didn’t disappoint either – they were magnificent.
We hadn’t seen John and Viv since our wedding in 2015 or Dan since 2011. So it was nice to catch-up properly with a nice cold beer.
Pearl Beach, Brisbane Water National Park
After lunch, we continued our visit to Brisbane Water National Park by driving over Mount Ettalong to Pearl Beach.
I thought this beach was sensational with spectacular views across Broken Bay. The rock formations on both ends of the beach really added to the scenery too.
John pointed out an interesting fact to us about the street names in Pearl beach. They are named after precious stones like Pearl Beach itself. For example, these include Garnet Road, Amethyst Avenue and Opal Close.
A first encounter with a Wallaby
To get to our next destination, we travelled along Patonga Drive in Brisbane Water National Park. Just as we were arriving in Patonga, we saw two people looking into the bush. Viv speculated that there may be a wallaby nearby. She was right, the two people there had caught a glimpse of it.
We parked the car and then investigated the scene. Just as we about to give up I spotted the wallaby. After getting a few photos, it hopped away into the undergrowth. It was such a great experience encountering our first Australian animal in the wild.
We then walked over to Patonga to see another fantastic beach and the wharf. The views of the Hawkesbury River and Brisk Bay were superb from here.
Patonga is famous for Oyster farming and the village takes its name from the word ‘oyster’ in the Guringai people’s language.
Like Pearl Beach, it was nice that Patonga was really quiet compared to other places we had visited in New South Wales.
Spending time with our Australian family
With the afternoon drawing to a close, we made our way back through Brisbane Water National Park to Dan’s house.
We spent a couple of hours swimming in his pool and sipping a few beers before Dan’s wife Shari returned from work. It was great to see Shari again and to meet Hayley’s new little cousins Ava and Liam.
After freshening up, Dan and Shari put on an Australian barbecue for us. I had heard so much about the famous Australian barbecue tradition and Dan and Shari’s was delicious and exceeded anything I imagined.
We had such a great day spending time with family and exploring Brisbane Water National Park. Tomorrow we will be heading off to the Australian Reptile Park and catching up with Hayley’s cousin Tim and his wife Gabriela.